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Walkden eyes Manchester Grand Prix glory after Far East near miss

20th September 2018

Bianca Walkden doubled GB Taekwondo’s medal haul at the World Taekwondo World Grand Prix in Taoyuan, Chinese Taipei today (Thursday)

And having added silver to her bronze from the Rome Grand Prix earlier this year, the double world champion will hope for gold when the series moves to Manchester next month.

The world number one from Liverpool won three matches, including the scalps of highly rated pair, Saebom An from South Korea and Turkey’s Nafia Kus, to reach the final of the +67kg event.

Despite Bianca’s best efforts, however, she lost 22-6 against Da-Bin Lee, the reigning Asian Games gold medallist.

“I am disappointed with silver because the only colour I want is gold,” she said. “Every time I don’t get gold I feel it is a disappointment.

“I am happy I reached the final but to me silver is underachieving. The girl was better than me on the day but there is not one person I want a re-match with.

“Everyone is in the way so I want to beat them all. I am looking forward to Manchester now.

“I can’t wait to be on home soil fighting in front of family and friends and to turn that silver into gold.”

Jade Jones will also have plenty of unfinished business when the Regional Arena, Manchester, hosts the next Grand Prix. (October 19-21).

The London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic champion won a rare meeting against GB teammate, Rachelle Booth-but it was close.

Wiganer Rachelle, a Russian Open silver medallist last weekend, took their -57kg contest to golden point only to miss out on the quarter-finals.

Next, Jade went down 5-3 to Latvian Inese Tarvida, a 2017 World Championship bronze medallist.

Hassan Haider, GB Taekwondo’s other competitor on day two, lost his opening bout at -58kg, 17-9 against Ramnarong Sawekwiharee of Thailand.

Bianca’s podium finish added to Mahama Cho’s bronze in the men’s heavyweight category on Wednesday.

Tomorrow (Friday) Damon Sansum compete at -80kg while reigning world junior champion, Jordyn Smith, competes at -49kg.

*Watch Olympic medallists Jade Jones and Bianca Walkden compete at the Manchester edition of the World Taekwondo Grand Prix, which is back at the Regional Arena from 19-21 October. Tickets are now on sale via http://www.kickingforglory.com

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